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entered on 09/26/14 at 11:47 AM | read comments »


Cutting Room for September 26

As is evident by the vile predatory practices of “paycheck advance” lending companies, many of us ain’t exactly livin’ high on the hog right now. Film Streams at the Ruth Sokolof Theater feels you, bae. That’s why they’re partnering with Women’s Fund of Omaha and Coalition for a Strong Nebraska to bring you a free screening of Paycheck to Paycheck on Tuesday, Oct 28 at 7 pm. The film follows a working single mother over the course of a year as she is faced with harrowing decisions like choosing medicine for herself or taking care of her children. If I could Clockwork Orange the 1% elite by toothpicking their eyelids open and forcing them to watch this, I would. Instead, I’ll just tell you that there’s a panel discussion after the screening and you can get more details at filmstreams.org.

It used to be that a person would have an idea for a movie and then make that movie. Now studios come up with a need for a movie or a sequel for a movie and then scramble to make something up based on a title or property. That was my fear for Bill and Ted 3, rumors of which just won’t die. So color me surprised that Bill himself, Alex Winter, actually has a fairly awesome conceit for the film: he and Keanu Reeves’ Ted never got around to saving the world. That’s actually pretty great. Combine that with the proposed director, Dean Parisot of Galaxy Quest fame, and this may indeed be excellent.

Nacho Vigalondo is among my favorite weirdo directors. From the twisty Timecrimes to the dark comedy Extraterrestrial, his work is always a combination of odd and engaging. Combine that with my lifelong love of practical effects and monster movies, and you can understand I’m stoked that he has written an old-school, Godzilla-style “kaiju” monster movie that won’t rely on CGI. I’m all for spectacles like Pacific Rim¸ but my heart grew three sizes at the thought of a new, cheesy-fun “man-in-suit” monster movie. 

Cutting Room provides breaking local and national movie news … complete with added sarcasm. Send any relevant information to film@thereader.com. Check out Ryan on Movieha!, a weekly half-hour movie podcast, catch him on the radio on CD 105.9 on Fridays at around 7:30 a.m. and on KVNO 90.7 at 8:30 a.m. on Fridays and follow him on Twitter.


entered on 09/26/14 at 11:38 AM | read comments »


Cutting Room for September 19

Every time someone uses film as a medium to push towards real social change, I feel all fluttery in my tummy; so it should come as no surprise how jacked I am for The Gender Reel Film Festival. The touring festival features films that focus on gender and transgender issues and will be at the Joslyn Art Museum on Oct 19 from 1:30-8 pm. How bad-ass and cool is a festival with the following categories: Trans Woman/Feminine, Trans Men/Masculine, Gender Nonconforming/Queer, LGBT and Youth/Family. Head to genderreelfest.com for full breakdowns of the films being screened and to order/request tickets. Festivals like this give my cold, nearly dead, cynical heart an excuse to beat a bit.

Hear ye, hear ye! You can, and people do, make movies in noncoastal areas! Proof: Film Streams’ Ruth Sokolof Theater just announced the selections for the fifth annual Local Filmmakers Showcase, curated by some fine folks over at the “Omaha World Herald.” Starting Oct 16 at 7:30 pm, you can see the 12 chosen short films that were combined into one 123-minute block. The selections include documentaries about a local inventor, music videos for Orenda Fink and The Faint and narratives that explore a struggling artist and a drunk. Wait; let me check on that last part… Yep, that’s the narrative plot and not just my weekend plans. For more information about tickets and show times, head to filmstreams.org

If you haven’t seen the FX TV show, “Fargo,” well that’s just a real shame now. A real shame. So you’re just gonna have to trust me that the fella who wrote that, Noah Hawley, did a real good job on it. A real good job. And now he’s gettin’ to work on one of them monster movies from Universal. Yeah, it’s true. He may be writin’ about the Wolfman or the Creature from the Black Lagoon! We don’t know yet. All we know is that it’s gonna be good. Yeah, sure, you betcha. 

Cutting Room provides breaking local and national movie news … complete with added sarcasm. Send any relevant information to film@thereader.com. Check out Ryan on Movieha!, a weekly half-hour movie podcast, catch him on the radio on CD 105.9 on Fridays at around 7:30 a.m. and on KVNO 90.7 at 8:30 a.m. on Fridays and follow him on Twitter.


entered on 09/19/14 at 11:55 AM | read comments »


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The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies

The epic conclusion to the most epic of epics.

GRADE
A-


The Babadook

A terrifying tale of an ooky pop-up book and motherly love.

GRADE
A


The Tale of Princess Kaguya

A water-colored take on a Japanese folktale that is prettier than it is interesting.

GRADE
B-


The Theory of Everything

"Out of this world" performances buoy a sub-par script.

GRADE
B+


Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1

Half of what promises to be an epic conclusion to a fabulous series.

GRADE
B+


Birdman

A delirously fun satirical send up of artistic pretension. 

GRADE
B+


The Overnighters

"The Grapes of Wrath" in documentary form set in North Dakota.

GRADE
A-


Interstellar

If this was humanity's last hope, give up.

GRADE
D


Happy, Little Clouded

Actual human beings made The Tale of Princess Kaguya, and you can tell. A water-colored rebuke of the robots who...

more »


No Big Bang

In 1965, Stephen Hawking wrote his first ground-breaking thesis and wed Jane Wilde. His paper argued that if a star can...

more »


Leni Riefen-stalling

On the one hand, any film subtitled “Part 1” is a naked cash grab. On the other hand, shut up and take my money, Hunger...

more »


Oopsie Genius

I know two things for sure: (1) Birdman aims to relentlessly drive home one singular point, one thoroughly expressed thesis...

more »


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